We have three months left in 2016, and there are still can’t-miss releases on the horizon before we reach New Year’s Day. Judging by the stunning new song you’re about to hear, we’re compelled to say that the new album Lunaris by the long-running Polish band Arkona will be one of these. The album is set for release on November 4 by Debemur Morti Productions, and the name of the song is “Ziemia“.
Arkona must be considered among the pioneers of Polish black metal, with demos that date back to 1994 and a debut album (Imperium) released in 1996. Lunaris is the band’s sixth album in that long career, and the second following a span between 2003 and 2014 when the band only participated in a few splits. This is their first album on the Debemur Morti label.
“Ziemia” is a study in the integration of contrasts. It’s richly atmospheric — mystical and cadaverous, nightmarish and majestic — with a sweeping, mesmerizing melody that’s driven home by ringing chords, rippling lead guitar, and waves of symphonic and choral keyboard ambience.
But the music is also powerful and propulsive, driven by hard-hitting drumwork and a lively bass that are forward in the mix. The song’s intensity ebbs and flows, with mid-paced back-beats punctuated by bursts of double-bass thunder and rapid, blast-beat mortar fire. The vocals drip poison and spit shards of broken glass, becoming explosively wrenching as the music reaches its summits of emotional extremity.
The complex mood of the powerful melody that flows through the song as it crests and subsides is subject to interpretation — in the case of this listener, it seems like an unlikely intersection of dark romance, aching grief, and the fear of an impending doom. Although the emotional resonance of the song may change depending on the listener’s own mental and emotional state, one aspect of the music likely won’t change: It’s a song that’s hard to forget.
Circle the date on your calendars: Debemur Morti Productions will release Lunaris on November 4. To pre-order the album in a variety of formats, use these links: